Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Defrosting Sand Dunes

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-434, 27 July 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture shows retreating patches of frost on a field of large, dark sand dunes in the Noachis region of Mars. Large, windblown ripples of coarse sediment are also seen on some of the dunes. This dune field is located in a crater at 47.5°S, 326.3°W. The scene is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.

Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, California. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, California and Denver, Colorado.

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